The history of asphalt pavement goes back at least 2,500 years. In more recent times, engineers began building asphalt roads during the 1700s in Europe and the 1800s in the United States. Asphalt pavement has proven itself to be a durable, attractive and economical option for highways, driveways and parking lots. In addition to its many other advantages, asphalt pavement is an environmentally friendly product. Every crumb of asphalt pavement can be recycled to make more asphalt. To make it even more environmentally green, however, manufacturers have developed a new type of asphalt pavement that offers additional benefits to the environment. It is called porous asphalt.
Green Asphalt Is Environmentally Friendly – What Is Special About It?
If you have ever driven or walked across an asphalt parking lot during a heavy rain, you probably encountered puddles on top of the pavement or noticed runoff flowing from the surface. Traditional asphalt pavement is impermeable, which means that it does not allow fluids to seep beneath it as long as the surface is unbroken. Porous asphalt allows just the opposite to happen. It contains pores that let water beneath the pavement. The water trickles into a special type of drainage system that returns the water into the ground.
What Makes Porous Asphalt a Green Material?
In addition to the use of recycled materials in its production and its ability to be recycled completely, porous asphalt pavement helps protect the water system. Asphalt does not dissolve in water, and it releases no toxic chemicals into the soil or water. However, the same cannot be said about the automotive fluids and other chemicals that are found on most pavements. These products are swept away by the runoff, washed into the storm drains and eventually released into rivers or lakes. The potential exists that these contaminants could negatively impact animals that drink the water or live in it. With porous asphalt pavement, any potential contaminants remain in the immediate area where they were originally deposited.
What Are the Negatives?
The main problem with porous asphalt pavement is that manufacturers have not perfected a variety that will bear up under extremely heavy traffic. It simply cannot take the volume on a heavily traveled highway, for example, or withstand the weight of fully loaded 18-wheelers. Currently, most porous asphalt pavement is used for parking lots restricted to passenger vehicles, sports courts, sidewalks, driveways and streets in residential areas that receive little traffic.
Learn More About Porous Asphalt Pavement
If you would like to learn more, contact LDC Paving. We have extensive experience in the asphalt industry, and we provide a wide range of services to customers throughout the greater Houston area and adjacent counties. Whether you need asphalt paving, pavement markings, crack filling or sealcoating, our crews will deliver quality work at reasonable rates. You can submit the form found on our website to request a free quote, or you can call us at (832) 640-7296.
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